National Ice Cream Day is Sunday and we have former President Ronald Reagan to thank for it. In 1984, Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day.
"I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities," Reagan stated in his proclamation.
Reagan also stated in his proclamation that ice cream is a "nutritious and wholesome food," and while the first point might be up for debate, most Americans would probably agree with the latter, as the average citizen consumes roughly 20 pounds of ice cream every year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Straying from the traditional, "Here's where you can celebrate National Ice Cream Day" story, the News-Leader decided to consult artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT for some guidance on the most popular ice cream flavors in Springfield and what local businesses supply them.
ChatGPT, operated by Open AI, was released in November 2022 and has gained steady traction since. For the sake of this story, the News-Leader utilized the free ChatGPT software, accessible with an OpenAI account.
To start, we tried the impossible, asking ChatGPT what it's favorite flavor of ice cream is.
News-Leader: "What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?"
ChatGPT: "I don't have personal preferences or the ability to taste or consume food."
The response was as expected, so we next attempted a different route — prompting ChatGPT to respond as a resident of Springfield.
News-Leader: "Pretend you are a resident of Springfield, Missouri. What would your favorite ice cream flavor be then?"
While ChatGPT couldn't nail down its own favorite flavor, it did talk about four flavors considered to be local favorites:
"Cashew Caramel: A delightful combination of creamy caramel ice cream with crunchy cashew nuts mixed in.
"Gooey Butter Cake: Inspired by the famous St. Louis dessert, this flavor features a creamy ice cream base infused with the flavors of buttery cake and a gooey center.
"Ozark Black Walnut: A regional specialty, this flavor highlights the rich and distinct taste of locally grown black walnuts, providing a unique and delicious ice cream experience.
"Berry Patch: A refreshing choice for fruit lovers, this flavor combines fresh, juicy berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, in a creamy ice cream base."
Next up was finding out where one could try these "local favorites," which took a good amount of prompting, honing in the questions to get ChatGPT to identify restaurants that serve up these flavors.
Where to find cashew caramel ice cream
For cashew caramel, ChatGPT initially recommended Askinosie Chocolate, which does not appear to offer any ice cream products right now. Before starting a conversation with ChatGPT, it does outline its limitations, including that it may generate incorrect information and it has a limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021. When incorrect information is generated, users are encouraged to correct the AI to help it "learn."
After setting ChatGPT straight, it offered Andy's Frozen Custard and one now-closed restaurant as options for cashew caramel. And while the Andy's Frozen Custard's online menu doesn't appear to feature a cashew caramel product, folks could certainly make their own with the provided toppings.
For those who don't want to craft their own treat, here are some other options:
Schwan's Home Delivery's Salted Caramel Cashew Ice Cream
So Delicious Dairy Free's Salt Caramel Cluster Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert (available at grocery stores)
Culver's Caramel Cashew Sundae
Where to find gooey butter cake ice cream
Like before, ChatGPT recommended Andy's Frozen Custard for gooey butter cake ice cream and while the ice cream restaurant does not serve a gooey butter cake ice cream option, ChatGPT deserves some credit because an "Ooey Gooey Concrete" is on the menu. This concrete includes Health bar pieces, caramel and almonds — no cake.
When prompted for another list of restaurants that may have gooey butter cake ice cream on their menu, ChatGPT suggested the News-Leader do its own research.
ChatGPT: "To find restaurants or ice cream shops in Springfield that offer Gooey Butter Cake ice cream, I recommend utilizing local directories, conducting online searches, checking social media platforms and reading recent customer reviews."
So if you're in the mood for some gooey butter cake ice cream, here's where to find it:
Civil Kitchen's Ooey Gooey Buttercake Ice Cream Sandwich
Ice Cream Factory's Gooey Butter Cake (available at grocery stores)
Houlihan's Salted Caramel Gooey Butter Cake, which is served with vanilla ice cream
Where to find Ozark Black Walnut ice cream
How a user prompts ChatGPT makes the difference in its results.
News-Leader: "What restaurants in Springfield, Missouri offer Ozark Black Walnut ice cream?"
ChatGPT: "While I don't have access to real-time information about specific restaurants in Springfield, Missouri, and their ice cream offerings, Ozark Black Walnut ice cream is a regional specialty in the area. You may have better luck finding this flavor at local ice cream shops, creameries or establishments that prioritize using local ingredients and flavors."
News-Leader: "Where can I eat Ozark Black Walnut ice cream in Springfield, Missouri?"
ChatGPT then, again, recommended Andy's Frozen Custard. The restaurant's online menu doesn't list Ozark Black Walnut ice cream products, however. After informing ChatGPT of this, it responded with Pineapple Whip, MaMa Jean's Natural Market and Hurts Donut Company as potential options for the regional ice cream.
While MaMa Jean's and Hurts may provide Ozark Black Walnut options, Pineapple Whip does not. Prompting ChatGPT with its inaccuracies again, the next response was much more vague, with recommendations to "local ice cream shops," "specialty food stores" and "local events and festivals."
If you now how have a hankering for the regional flavor, check your local grocery store freezer. That may be your best bet in tracking it down.
Where to find berry patch ice cream
By this point, we were more confident in our prompting abilities and determined to track down a cup or cone of berry patch ice cream. But ChatGPT didn't want to budge.
News-Leader: "Where can I eat Berry Patch ice cream in Springfield, Missouri?"
ChatGPT recommends "local ice cream shops," "specialty dessert shops," "farmer's markets" and "local creameries."
News-Leader: "What restaurants offer Berry Patch ice cream in Springfield, Missouri?"
Consult directories, the internet, social media and customer reviews, the AI replies.
News-Leader: "What local restaurants in Springfield, Missouri serve Berry Patch ice cream?"
Again, we're told to do our own research.
News-Leader: "Why would you tell me that berry patch ice cream is one of the top four local favorite ice cream flavors in Springfield, Missouri if you can't tell me where to find it?"
ChatGPT: "I apologize for any confusion caused. I mistakenly provided incorrect information about Berry Patch ice cream being one of the top local favorite flavors in Springfield, Missouri. I don't have access to specific data or real-time information about the preferences or availability of ice cream flavors in specific locations. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by this error."
Well, I suppose that solves that problem.
What are the best ice cream shops in Springfield?
After learning about Springfield's favorite ice cream flavors and where to get them (sort of), the News-Leader asked ChatGPT to recommend the five best ice cream shops in Springfield.
Yes, Andy's Frozen Custard was ranked No. 1, followed by Pineapple Whip, Hurts Donut Company, B+B Boulangerie & Fair-Weather Café (now Pickwick & Cherry Fine Foods & Gourmet Gifts) and MaMa Jean's Natural Market.
How to celebrate National Ice Cream Day in Springfield
Due to ChatGPT's limited knowledge after 2021, the News-Leader resorted to old-fashioned reporting to find out where to celebrate National Ice Cream Day in Springfield. Here are some options:
Green House Coffee + Affogato Bar, 431 S. Jefferson Ave.
The first 25 guests to order the Ultimate Banana Split — vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate ice cream, a banana, strawberry sauce, pineapple, whipped cream, a maraschino cherry and a macaron — on Sunday will receive a free reusable, color-changing bowl.
Braum's, all locations
All Sunday, single-dip ice cream and small frozen yogurt cones are $1.30 and double-dip ice cream and large frozen yogurt cones are $1.89. Braum's is also unveiling four new sundaes: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, M&M Cookie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie and Triple Chocolate Almond Cookie.
Baskin Robbins, all locations
From Sunday to Saturday, July 23, Baskin Robbins is offering a $5 off any purchase of $15 or more. Guests can also take advantage of the deal online, by using the code "BECOOLER."
Cold Stone Creamery, all locations
My Cold Stone Rewards members will receive a 0.99 cent delivery on orders of $20 or more when placed on the Cold Stone app or online.
As a part of its Summer of DashPass, DoorDash is offering $5 off when customers buy two Talenti, Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Popsicle, Magnum, Good Humor or Klondike products. The deal extends through Wednesday, July 19.
DashPass is DoorDash's premium subscription service. For $5 a month, members receive free delivery and exclusive deals.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: AI recommends where to get ice cream in Springfield